As a mayor of your own island paradise, you are tasked with building and improving your seaside town into a bustling metropolis in City Island. It’s a very simple premise that quickly becomes more complex as the city grows. In it, you have reign over 100 different buildings and stores to decorate your town with. Because you are on the sea, there is even a fishing mechanic allowing you to invest in the bounties of the ocean. However, not everything can be leisure as residents need places to live. To be successful, it’s all about keep the people happy.
City Island 2 took this same idea and improved upon your abilities as mayor. Instead of just buildings, you are now in charge of transportation to get your citizens to and from work. This also means that your leisure areas can be further decorated with beautiful pathways and gardens for the residents to meander through. Instead of 100 unique buildings, there are now over 150. While these additions may not sound like much, designing the transportation of a city is a whole new level of management that requires even more mental resources to figure out so that you don’t wind up needing to replace poorly designed roads halfway through the game.
Between the two, there’s not much change graphically. Many of the same house models show up but the visuals are certainly more refined in City Island 2, owing mostly to the upgrade in mobile phone rendering capabilities. The major different between the two, save for the transportation aspect, is that the in game menu is much larger in the second game. In City Island, there are very unassuming buttons to the left and right with rather small status bars across the top. City Island 2, however, decided there needed to be more buttons and add more they did. There are more status bars, more action options, more city information specifics and even a Facebook button should you want to share your progress. In the end, it’s this cluttered feel that can turn off a player with larger fingers. What sets these two city building games apart, though, is the fact that instead of unlimited space that can easily stretch your resources thing, you have a limited island where space runs out quickly, forcing you to figure out how to make it all work for a long time in a confined space.
As city building games go, City Island and City Island 2 are incredibly unique in their puzzle aspect when compared to similar games in the genre. This space limitation also makes the two the perfect stepping stones toward the far more complex building games out on the market. Though a bit cartoonish in feel, the nonetheless have all the complexities that the more serious looking games have without so much of the rigidity. No matter your age or skill level as a gamer, both City Island and City Island 2 are perfect additions to any phone.